List of Common Starchy Foods in Nigeria

Consuming too much of starchy foods is a sure way to gain weight really fast. These foods are high in carbohydrates, which provide most of the energy used by the body for the day’s activity and other important body functions.

If you’re trying to lose weight, then it’s best for you to reduce your consumption of these foods, as they tend to build up stubborn fat that will be very difficult to break even with long hours of exercise. On the other hand, you should consume more of these foods if you’re trying to gain weight.

starchy nigerian foods

Here are some of the most popular starchy foods in Nigeria.


The amount of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat in yam is relatively low and make up less than 1 percent of the entire nutritional value per 100 grams of yam. Despite that, yam is very high in carbohydrate.

If you consume excess carbohydrate, it will be stored in your body and converted to fat. This usually leads to weight gain. Yam can be eaten boiled, fried, roasted or taken with other foods in the form of pounded yam.

Pounded yam is a swallow taken with traditional soups in the many parts of Nigeria.

Although the carbohydrate content of yam is high, its vitamin content is higher. Yam is rich in vitamin C, D, B-6, and A which offer many health benefits to the body. It is also rich in beneficial minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium.

The amount of calories in 100 grams of yam is around 118. Depending on your reason for consuming yam, you might have to take more or less in a day.

Cassava and Its Produce

Cassava is a tuber crop that is cultivated and eaten in many parts of the world. As of 2019, Nigeria stands as the largest producer of cassava with about 50 million tons of the crop being cultivated annually.

Just like yam, cassava is low on saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, however, its carbohydrate content is quite high. It is higher than that of yam and many other tuber crops.

Unfortunately, cassava is low on vitamins such as vitamin A, D, and B-6. It is also low in minerals like calcium, magnesium, cobalamin, and iron. However, it has high vitamin C content with vitamin C accounting for more than 30 percent of its total nutritional value.

Cassava is used to produce many other foods consumed in Nigeria. These foods are also high in carbohydrates which make them one of the fatty foods in Nigeria. Some of these foods include

  • Garri: Garri is produced from the tubes and roots of cassava. It is the major foods consumed in Nigeria. Garri has very high carbohydrate content. It also contains other nutrients like protein, iron, and vitamin.


Garri is consumed with many traditional soups. If you plan on eating this food, you should only do so if you aim to gain weight or you plan on maintaining your weight as the high carbohydrate content can lead to weight gain.


  • Fufu: Fufu is used to describe foods made by pounding boiled starchy crops into a dough-like consistency. The crops that can be used to make fufu are plantains, yams, cocoyams, and cassava. Just like other foods made from cassava the carbohydrate content of fufu is really high. Fufu is also high in calories.


  • Starch: Starch is a staple food consumed with soups like Owoh. It is made from the starch gotten from processing cassava into garri. It has high carbohydrate content and calories.


Rice is another fatty food that is rich in carbohydrate. The problem with consuming rice is that you wouldn’t be getting many vitamins as its vitamin content is really low. It is also low in minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron.

While rice is low on some beneficial nutrients, it does offer a lot of health benefits to the body. Consuming rice can reduce your chances of developing heart disease and prevent the damage of cells in the body through the action of antioxidants.

However, consuming too much rich can lead to excessive weight gain and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.


Bread has a lot of nutritional value. It is high in carbohydrate, protein, and fibre. It has low-fat content, despite that, the carbohydrate in the bread can be converted to fat in your body if taken in excess.

Bread is one of the best options to consider if you’re trying to gain weight. Those trying to lose weight should also consume bread but should do so in small amounts.


Potatoes are tuber crops that are extremely low in calories and high in carbohydrate. They are one of the best foods for those that are trying to lose weight as they have low-calorie content.

They also contain a small amount of fat, fibre, sugar, and protein. Other nutrients present in potato in small amounts include calcium, vitamin D, cobalamin, and vitamin A.

Potatoes are a rich source of nutrients like magnesium, vitamin B-6, iron, and vitamin C. They also offer numerous health benefits to the body through the presence of these nutrients.